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It's a three-door problem Featured

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It's a three-door problem

The magazine Parade had a column ‘Ask Marilyn’ by the person with the highest recorded IQ (according to the Guinness Book of Records), Marilyn vos Savant. In 1990 Craig Whitaker of Columbia wrote in with a question that is known as the ‘Monty Hall’ problem.


The Monty Hall problem is as follows: Supposing you are on a TV game show and the programme host shows you three closed doors, behind two of which are goats, and the remaining door has a car hidden behind it. Your goal is obviously to win the car and you are then invited to choose a door. Having chosen a door, the show’s host then opens one of the remaining two doors, revealing a goat. Without knowing what is behind your door, you are then asked this question: “Do you want to stick with your choice or change (to the remaining door)?” Stick or change: that is the option you are presented with in your quest to win the car.

 “We don’t have a ‘talent problem’; we have a leadership problem.”

At this point the vast majority of people choose to stick believing that it makes little difference, as after all, there is now a 50:50 chance of winning the car.


What would you do and why at this point?

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Keith Coats

Keith Coats

Keith Coats is an internationally respected leadership expert, author, speaker and facilitator. He has worked with both leaders and their executive teams in numerous international blue chip companies. He is the author of ‘Everything I know about leadership I learnt from the kids’ (Penguin) and his leadership articles have been published in a variety of local as well as international publications and journals. Keith has formally researched leading teams through organisational change and has experience in facilitating both strategic processes and mergers.


Keith is passionate about the international role and voice South Africa can play in leading diversity and has frequently been invited to share the ‘South African Story’ internationally. He has come to be regarded as one of South Africa’s more significant contributing voices on human development and leadership.


Keith is a sought after international keynote presenter in the area of strategic leadership in the new world of work. Keith brings a relaxed, conversational style to the podium where he presents cutting edge thinking to those present. Keith has been invited by HM King Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden to present at the Royal Palace, Stockholm to Swedish leaders from the corporate, political, non-profit and academic spheres as well as at the Global Leaders Conference in China. Keith is a regular presenter at conferences and business schools around the world, having presented and taught in diverse settings such as Russia, Sweden, the United States, China, Vietnam, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Namibia and South Africa. Keith uses multi-media as a key tool in his presentations to challenge shock and inspire audiences with his engaging content and delivery.


Keith’s primary focus is in the area of strategic leadership in the context of the new world of work. The need to develop adaptive intelligence – both a personally and corporately, is paramount to future success in both these spheres. In a changing world strategy – what it is, how to do it and what skills are required, needs to adapt and change. So too with leadership – and it is in these domains that Keith’s expertise and experience are to be found.


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